Can Healthcare Be Both Less Costly and More Efficient?

The contact center industry is facing two concurrent trends: rising wages and agent attrition.

According to the United States Department of Labor, salaries in the industry have increased by 4.5% from September 2020 to September 2021 and by 5.1% between September 2021 and September 2022. This increase in wages is an attempt by companies to attract talent in a competitive market, particularly as remote work opportunities in the “gig economy” become more prevalent.

In the healthcare industry, similar challenges are being observed. Costs are rising, but there is no corresponding increase in efficiency. The healthcare industry in the US has experienced significant growth in labor costs without experiencing productivity gains. Administrative costs and time spent on billing-related matters contribute to high costs and reduced productivity. This situation is unsustainable, as it affects both patients and caregivers, leading to increased stress and potential negative health outcomes.

To address these challenges, improving productivity in the back office of healthcare organizations is one approach. Back offices handle tasks such as admissions, insurance claims processing, billing, and collections that do not involve direct patient contact. Optimizing these tasks and streamlining documentation processes can significantly increase productivity and efficiency. If the healthcare industry as a whole undertakes such initiatives instead of continually expanding its workforce, it could potentially reduce healthcare spending by up to $550 billion by 2028 compared to current projections.

One way to optimize the back-office workforce is through the use of performance management software. This software incorporates technologies such as robotic process automation, desktop analytics, and artificial intelligence to identify performance issues and recommend corrective actions. NICE’s Performance Management Back Office Essentials (BOE) package is recommended for healthcare facilities. It provides comprehensive visibility into back-office employee activities, application usage, and performance, allowing for tailored coaching, gamification, and identification of process bottlenecks that can benefit from automation or streamlining. Integration with front-office solutions ensures a consistent and centralized approach for optimal outcomes.

Performance management is a proven pathway to improving productivity, lowering costs, and increasing employee engagement. This ultimately benefits everyone involved in the healthcare industry.

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